Tuesday, March 6, 2018

On photography... continous learning. And a new look at the pier.

Abstract art?
Last week, snowbound, still exploring all the new, British TV, I discovered Sky Art's Master of Photography competition. (For those outside the UK, I think it's available on YouTube--here's an example, where the contestants were challenged with photographing Michael Madsen) And yes, I binge-watched the two series. It's a competition similar to others: begins with twelve contestants, ends with one supreme winner, 150,000 euros richer.

As a photographer, I found it intriguing. Not so much by the photography itself--it's all subjective, after all--and not even by the comments of the judges and mentors, though it was very interesting to hear, and see, their insights. (Most important comment? "It's your photo. Do whatever the hell you want with it.") But both inspiring and intriguing because of the challenges that were set, each episode, for the photographers. Seeing and understanding how each photographer had their own comfort zone, and places where they would much rather not be. Seeing how they learned and improved by being forced to take up a challenge at very short notice, with little time to prepare.

Colour and structure
Some found situations like backstage, or sports, overwhelming--places where I feel very much at home. Some excelled in posed, studio-lit environments... somewhere I am very, very reluctant to go.

What was clear? We all need to keep challenging ourselves, each and every day, with the camera. Pushing the boundaries of our own experiences. Yes, there will be our preferred subjects... but we can learn every time we try something new. Even if it's only, "I don't like that".

Know where, and what, this is?
Looking at other people's work is important; whether it's photography or painting, architecture or music or bizarre fashion statements. Only by observing do we know what works for us. Only by trial and error do we understand how the camera works best in our own hands. It's only a tool that captures a snapshot of imagination: there is no right, or wrong, way to use it.

The photos in this post are just a new look at the picture postcard that is Cromer Pier. Yes, all of them. Can you figure out where they were taken?

Beneath Cromer Pier
Low tide

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